Lindamood-Bell® Programs*

Lindamood-Bell® has pioneered reading, spelling, and comprehension programs that strengthen the underlying cognitive processes for reading, spelling, and comprehension.  These programs are highly-language based, use the Socratic questioning method of instruction, and were designed for an immersive approach (intensive schedule).

Cincinnati Reading Center has been implementing the Lindamood-Bell® approaches since 2001.*

Reading and Spelling

LiPS strengthens phonological awareness (PA), a pre-reading skill.  When a child has been taught phonics but sounding out words and spelling is still very challenging, PA may likely be the root cause. 

Great readers and spellers transition from decoding and encoding every word to using the brain’s faster visual processing circuit.  Seeing Stars strengthens symbol imagery (SI) for visual processing enabling faster word retrieval for both reading and spelling.


Students who read with fluency yet comprehension is lacking is likely having difficulty with turning words into visual imagery.  As the saying goes, read a book see the movie – the book is always better. V/V develops concept imagery (CI) improving language comprehension.

LiPS Program®


Despite numerous attempts to teach him phonics, Jake still struggles with sounding out words.  He also struggles with spelling words which are phonetically spellable.  When he attempts to read, he guesses or uses context cues.  He’s not progressing like other students and his teacher is concerned about dyslexia.


A primary cause of decoding and spelling problems is difficulty judging sounds within words. This is called weak phonemic awareness. Weak phonemic awareness causes individuals to add, omit, substitute, and reverse sounds and letters within words.


We focused our work on improving Jake’s awareness of sounds in words and linking those sounds to letters.  After two months of sessions before entering second grade, this eager learner was reading and spelling at the level of his peers.


Many children experience the symptoms of weak phonemic awareness.

This causes readers to:

  • guess, skip, or make whole word substitutions when reading
  • add, skip, or reverse letters or sounds when reading or spelling
  • not be able to create words that rhyme

Seeing Stars Program®


Jesse’s difficulty with reading would cause her to cry from frustration.  She had learned phonics and could sound out words, but she was a slow reader.  She, also, was not a very good speller.


Early readers learn phonics, start decoding words, and memorize high frequency words that don’t play fair by phonic rules (the, was, of, etc.).  Along the journey, a fluent reader will stop decoding familiar words and instead favor instantly recognizing them.  This bridging, from the auditory process (decoding) to the visual processing (instantly recognizing) of words, is key to achieving fluency.

Jesse’s assessment result revealed a weakness in her ability to implement visual processing for fluency and spelling.


We focused our work on improving Jesse’s Symbol Imagery to strengthen both her phonological and orthographic processing to be a more efficient reader and better speller.  After three months of sessions before entering second grade, this eager learner was a more confident reader and speller.

Signs of a Symbol Imagery Weakness:

  • weak contextual fluency
  • repeatedly decodes the same words
  • continues to revert to phonetic spelling e.g. “done” is spelled “dun”.

Visualizing and Verbalizing Program®


Sofia was a good reader.  She could read grade level text with relative ease, and she was a good speller.  However, she had to re-read paragraphs 2 or 3 times in order to memorize the words for comprehension.  Mom described her as disorganized.  She had to work harder than her peers for similar grades, and she usually ran out of time to finish tests.


Not all reading difficulties are based upon a reader’s inability to read with fluency.  Some readers read with appropriate rate and accuracy, but the words go in one ear and out the other.   Comprehension strategies for this reading profile amount to rereading material multiple times and memorizing the words.

Sofia’s assessment showed she had average reading skills and very low comprehension skills in both reading and listening.  It also revealed that she did better on the comprehension measures that allowed her to reread passsages when asked to answer questions.   Because Sofia’s comprehension ability was not on par with her reading ability, she learned to memorize the words for the purpose of comprehension.   Sofia lacks Concept Imagery – the ability to create vivid mental imagery from language.  In the sentence, “the black dog chased the yellow cat” Sofia saw the words, not a mental video clip of a dog, that was black, chasing a cat, which was yellow.


Developing Concept Imagery is a process of guiding the student to create a mental image/photograph from a word and building that skill into creating a movie from a paragraph.  In 15 weeks, Sofia improved her ability to process, organize, verbalize and write information independent of rote memorization.

Signs of a Weakness in Concept Imagery:


  • reread material over and over to answer questions
  • lack of consistency in learning
  • difficulty with high order thinking questions
  • doesn’t get jokes
  • written language skills may be described as unorganized

* Cincinnati Reading Center is NOT Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes®. Cincinnati Reading Center is NOT affiliated with, certified, endorsed, licensed, monitored, or sponsored by Lindamood-Bell®, Nanci Bell, Phyllis Lindamood or Patricia Lindamood. Lindamood-Bell®—an international organization creating and implementing unique instructional methods and programs for quality intervention to advance language and literacy skills—in no way endorses or monitors the services provided by Cincinnati Reading Center.